How to Differentiate Carpal Tunnel Syndrome from Myofascial Pain?
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Testing for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a progressive affliction which may be caused by direct trauma or repetitive overuse resulting in compression of the median nerve at the wrist
The condition is three times more likely to affect women, largely due to occupational tasks such as keyboard work. Pregnancy and diabetes are also risk factors.
The carpal tunnel surrounds the median nerve and flexor muscle tendons in their tendon sheaths as they pass from the forearm to the hand.
Raised pressure in the tunnel may occur as a result of irritated or inflamed tendons, leading to compression of the median nerve and causing pain, weakness or numbness in the hand which may radiate up the arm.
The condition is one of a variety of entrapment neuropathies involving compression or trauma to peripheral nerves.
Common Cause of Injury
Sporting activities that involve repetitive flexion and extension of the wrist, e.g. cycling, throwing events, racket sports and gymnastics. Congenital predisposition. Trauma or injury including fracture or sprain. Occupational tasks.
Signs and Symptoms
- Burning, numbness or itching in the palm of the hand and fingers.
- Sensation of finger and wrist swelling.
- Weakness of grip.
- Pain that may wake the individual during the night.
Complications if Left Unattended
Left untreated, CTS can cause loss of sensation in some fingers and permanent weakness of the thumb as the muscles of the thumb atrophy.
Heat and cold perception may also be affected in untreated CTS cases.
Cease repetitive stress activity causing the condition. Immobilization of the wrist with bandage or splint to prevent further irritation.
Rehabilitation and Prevention
Halting the repetitive sport or activity and allowing for rest and rehabilitation time following diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome is essential.
A bandage or splint may be used to stabilize the injured hand.
Releasing the tension in the wrist and hand during sports and periodic exercises to retain mobility and retard stiffness in the hands may help prevent the onset of CTS.
Recurrence of carpal tunnel syndrome following treatment is rare (except in cases of underlying disease such as diabetes).
Corticosteroid injections and surgery in persistent cases. The majority of patients properly attending to the injury recover completely.
About NAT Courses
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About Niel Asher Education
Niel Asher Education is a leading provider of distance learning and continued education courses.
Established in the United Kingdom in 1999, we provide course and distance learning material for therapists and other healthcare professionals in over 40 countries.
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Since 1999 Niel Asher Education has won numerous awards for education and in particular for education and services provided in the field of trigger point therapy.
Award Winning Instructors
Niel Asher Healthcare course instructors have won a host of prestigious awards including 2 lifetime achievement honorees - Stuart Hinds, Lifetime Achievement Honoree, AAMT, 2015, and Dr. Jonathan Kuttner, MD, Lifetime Achievement Honoree, NAMTPT, 2014.
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There are currently 3 levels of NAT certification. Certifying NAT is a valuable way to show your clients that you take continued education seriously, and to promote your skills and qualifications.
NAT courses are accredited for continuing education by over 30 professional associations in North America, United Kingdom, Australia, and European Union countries. These include The National Academy of Sports Medicine, Physical Therapy Board of California, AAFA, National Certification Board for Manual Therapists and Bodyworkers, Sports Therapy Institute, and Myotherapy Australia.
Niel Asher Technique
Since 1999 the Niel Asher Technique for treating trigger points has been adopted by over 100,000 therapists worldwide, and has been applied to the treatment of a number of common musculoskeletal injuries.
The Niel Asher Technique for treating frozen shoulder was first introduced and published in 1997 and has been widely adopted by therapists and exercise professionals working within elite sports and athletics.
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This trigger point therapy blog is intended to be used for information purposes only and is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or to substitute for a medical diagnosis and/or treatment rendered or prescribed by a physician or competent healthcare professional. This information is designed as educational material, but should not be taken as a recommendation for treatment of any particular person or patient. Always consult your physician if you think you need treatment or if you feel unwell.